U2's "Ordinary Love"

When I first heard U2's new song, I immediately was asking myself - what is Bono talking about?

U2 was asked to write a song as part of the Mandela biopic, Mandela: A Long Walk To Freedom. Since then, Nelson Mandela has passed away and we have lost a great hero of equality, courage and love. He has inspired so many people, including 4 Irish boys who like to write songs. 

And though the song points to realizing a love that can impact national and racial relationships, I think most of us could relate to this song by looking at things more personally.
When I saw the boys at BC Place

 Hear it here. 

Bono is no stranger to love and romance. He has been married to his wife, Ali, for over 30 years. And though you won't find a "Love Songs for Ali" album being released anytime soon, we can hear themes throughout his lyrics. A favorite of mine is from A Man and A Woman:

"Well I could never take a chance of losing love to find romance

In the mysterious distance between a man and a woman"

You see - Bono gets it. I'm sure there were sparks as that young Irish couple came together in high school. Bono is a romantic, but he knows that love is so much more than romance.

John Gottman knows all about this. After years of studying couples, he continually points us back to the little everyday-ness of our relationship. Whether he's teaching us about the 7 Principles, the 5 Steps, or the 10 Lessons (all great books by the way), he's encouraging us to live out an ordinary love.

He says it like this:
"Our research shows that to make a relationship last, couples must become better friends, learn to manage conflict, and create ways to support each other’s hopes for the future." 

It's about building a deep friendship. 

And though you don't see it much in Hollywood, Ben Affleck knows about this, as he told us at last year's Oscars, that marriage is work ("the best kind of work"). During his followup SNL monologue, he invited his wife, Jennifer Garner, onto the stage with him to help clarify. She says that she'd prefer to say that marriage is a GIFT. Yes, Jennifer, it is a gift, but a very complex one that does take work. Much of that work is learning an acceptance of ordinary love.

The trouble is that this forces us to look, not at what we get from a relationship, but what we can give. And that forces us to look at our own selfishness and shortcomings; dealing with ourselves.

Most friendships don't ask this much of us.

That's where the real work is. Once we humble ourselves to learn what it really means to love someone else, we truly begin to enter into the covenant we committed to.

It's time to see the beauty in Ordinary Love. To realize that there is a deep mystery in the most ordinary of relationships. Of course - this leads to something extraordinary - a love that is so much better than romance.

Are you willing to take that journey?